What to look for in contact management software
What is contact management?
Contact management is the process of digitally storing, organising, tracking and analysing information about all of your contacts. These contacts include existing customers, prospects and past customers.
Contact information may include:
social media handles
company job role (if relevant)
past contact or purchase history.
Why is contact management important?
Contact management helps businesses easily keep track of all sales leads and customers — and all of their essential data.
The ability to access any contact’s information at any point is essential for brands, whether they’re trying to convert a lead into a paying customer or looking through their history during a customer support concern. With detailed contact information, your team can provide a stronger and more personalised customer experience with every interaction, ultimately increasing brand loyalty, sales and revenue.
What is contact management software?
Contact management software helps you track, manage, and organise existing contacts so that you have a single view of the customer. All contact management software saves contact information like the person’s name, phone number and email address, though it may also include features like:
multichannel support (support via mobile, social media, email, live chat and more)
customer sentiment scoring
Contact management software vs. CRM software
Contact management software and customer relationship management (CRM) software are closely related and sometimes overlap, but the two are distinct.
Contact management software typically offers basic features that prioritise contact data storage. Many CRMs, by contrast, have more advanced tools that track a contact’s activity on a hyper-detailed level while also having features to assist with sales, marketing and reporting.
Let’s say that you have a potential lead named James Beasley who’s considering purchasing from your business.
Your contact management system would store his name, phone number and potentially his job title or company information. Your CRM, on the other hand, would track every email communication between James and your team, along with flagging which product pages he viewed recently.
What to look for in contact management software
Any tool that plays a vital role in your business’s day-to-day operations, and certainly one that holds information as valuable as your contacts’ information, should always come with top-tier support.
MYOB offers dedicated support services that include:
a searchable knowledge base
Opting for cloud-based functionality is critical when choosing contact management software. Cloud-based tools make it possible for your team to collaborate remotely and securely, allowing for increased flexibility.
Sales teams using cloud-based contact management software can access client contact information while they’re in the field, on sales calls, or working from home. With contact data at their fingertips, they can easily gather context about customers and prospects without needing to be in the office.
There’s a good chance that you already have a long list of prospects and customers and that you’re not starting from scratch, so look for software with an import feature.
Import features allow you to import your contacts — including both customers and suppliers — into your new software without having to manually add the information one name, email and phone number at a time. This feature saves you time and significantly reduces the risk of errors that manual data entry can cause.
Filtering and sorting options
You don’t want to have to click through every single user profile to look for users in a certain segment – that’s time-consuming and ineffective. Filtering and sorting options allow you to easily find different segments of contacts.
MYOB offers sorting and filtering features that offer the ability to:
search for specific contacts, or those that meet certain criteria
filter contacts when running reports
identify specific users within audience segments that have specific attributes
assign identifiers to contacts and set up custom lists.
A contact log
Use contact logs to keep track of all correspondence with your contacts, including emails and phone calls.
Contact management software doesn’t always include contact logs, so make sure you choose one that does offer this feature. Referring to this contact history gives you vital information about contacts so you always know where they are in their buyer journey.
It also directly improves the customer experience because your customers won’t have to repeat themselves during their interactions with your company, and they can get the support they need right away.
Compliance and privacy
Look for a contact management tool that includes their security standards on their site, and make sure that they’re following all of the security and privacy guidelines anywhere you’re doing business. This protection is particularly important for businesses working with a customer’s personal information or any other sensitive data, but is good practice for any business.
You aren’t just choosing a contact management system that meets your needs for now. Ideally, you’re choosing one that can meet your needs as your business grows. Look for scalability potential beyond your current needs, both in terms of the number of contacts you can store and the features that you may need.
Automation is an example of a feature that often becomes important as you scale, as it handles a large number of time-consuming and repetitive tasks that would otherwise be a drain on your team’s resources.
It’s also possible that you may just need a contact management system now but eventually need a CRM. Some CRM capabilities that can help companies scale include:
sending and tracking messages through email and SMS messaging and syncing all actions to the CRM
payment collection, including subscription billing and auto-payment features.
Are you a goods-based business considering adopting a CRM? Check out MYOB’s Tall Emu CRM to see if it’s a fit for your current or future needs.
Acquire and service your customers with MYOB
Manage your customer relationships, marketing, invoicing and quoting, automatic payment reminders, pricing and more – all in one place.
Cloud based, you only pay for the software you need, but you can have the confidence to grow your business with a business management platform that can scale and extend to meet your upcoming needs.
What’s more, as an open platform you can extend MYOB’s capabilities with a range of third-party apps. At MYOB, we have you covered.